Located in New England in the northeastern section of the United States, Connecticut is one of the smallest states, ranking 48th in terms of physical area. It has the 29th highest population, making it the fourth most densely populated state. Known as the 'Constitution State', Connecticut is the southernmost state in New England. Connecticut covers an area of 5,567 square miles in total, with an estimated population of 3.58 million. It has borders with New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with a section of coastline on the Long Island Sound. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
5 of the Largest Cities in Connecticut
- Overview, Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
- Bridgeport, Photo: Trudy/stock.adobe.com
- New Haven, Photo: pabrady63/stock.adobe.com
- Hartford, Photo: Bruce Peter Morin/stock.adobe.com
- Stamford, Photo: Ritu Jethani/stock.adobe.com
- Waterbury, Photo: jovannig/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: New England Air Museum
Known as the largest aviation museum in New England, the New England Air Museum is located in Windsor Lock, Connecticut. The museum aims to educate the public about the history and impact of aviation in America. Here, visitors can see engaging high-quality exhibits that demonstrate aviation technology and preserve the stories of the people who provided major contributions to the field of aviation. With more than 80 aircraft, instruments, engines, and personal memorabilia, the New England Air Museum provides a thorough overview of the history of aviation in America.
58th Bomb Wing Memorial
As necessity is usually the mother of invention, WWII saw many innovations in the field of aviation. The B-29 Superfortress used by the 58th Bomb Wing in the Pacific theatre of the war is largely credited with the defeat of the Japanese Empire by August 1945. The effort of the brave men instrumental in carrying out the many dangerous missions as part of this effort are commemorated in the museum’s 58th Bomb Wing Memorial. Visitors to the memorial can see the ongoing restoration of Jack’s Hack, an example of the plane that made was instrumental in bringing down the Axis forces in WW2.
Chanute-Herring Glider Replica
Visitors curious about the early days of aviation will enjoy inspecting the museum’s replica of a Chanute-Herring Glider, which was originally constructed in 1896. Designed by Octave Chanute, a civil engineer, this model was designed similar to a bridge, giving it reasonable stability for its time. Though fragile by today’s standards, its lightweight yet rigid structure allowed it to achieve 14 seconds of flight, covering distances of up to 359 feet. Many would be surprised to learn that the structure was originally designed to be a tri-plane. The lowest tier of wings was removed after early test flights proved them unnecessary. The pioneering design of this craft became the basis of future generations of bi-planes, including planes used by the Wright brothers.
Fokker Dr.1 Triplane Replica
Flown extensively in the spring of 1918 during the height of WWI, the Fokker Dr.1 is an example of an aircraft that captured the American collective imagination in a way few planes before it or since have. Its notoriety came from the fact that it was flown by Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron”. Today visitors can see a replica of this model with their own eyes at the New England Air Museum.
De Havilland C-7A (DHC-4) “Caribou”
This Vietnam era plane was originally constructed in Canada by de Havilland Canadian in 1962. Seen as a workhorse for the army, the Caribou could carry up to 20 patient litters, four tons or cargo or vehicles, and 32 fully equipped combat troops. True to its design as a short takeoff and landing airplane, or STOL for short, it provided close support in battle areas. This aircraft was considered both rugged and reliable for its ability to operate on unimproved surfaces of fewer than 1,000 feet. Visitors will see its back doors, which made it easy for the plane to load and unload cargo quickly. This feature also allowed the plane to dispatch paratroopers in a timely fashion.
Doman LZ-5 (YH-31)
Built in 1953, the Doman helicopter on display at the New England Air Museum demonstrates the innovations for which the company was known. The design of the aircraft allowed the engine to cool by way of the exhaust ejectors rather than the fan, which permitted it to increase its payload by approximately 800 pounds. Though hidden from view, this helicopter has a 400 hp. supercharged Lycoming engine. Its sealed, rigid, and hingeless rotor system is characteristic of many Doman designs. This piece was produced in consultation with army pilots, who tested its prototype and provided much needed feedback to the aircraft designers.
Simulators Demonstrations and Activities
Both adults and children are sure to find plenty to do, see, and experience when touring the New England Air Museum. For an more in-depth look at the responsibilities and thrills of life as a pilot, visitors can explore the Grumman E-1B Tracer Cockpit, where they get an inside look at the cockpit controls of this U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft. In addition, children aged 7 and up will relish a ride in the Ercoupe Full-Motion Simulator, which is a full motion flight simulator built from a real airplane that has been modified. Complete with ailerons, elevators, and rudder controls, it is bound to provide an exciting voyage for budding minds.
36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT 06096, Phone: 860-623-3305
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More Ideas: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is based at Yale University in New Haven and is among the oldest, largest, and most renowned natural history museums in the world. Founded in 1866 by philanthropist George Peabody, the Museum is located at 170 Whitney Avenue in New Haven and has an array of permanent exhibits dedicated to the evolution of mammals and humans, wildlife, Egyptian artifacts and the Native Americans of Connecticut.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History has several world-important collections, including the Great Hall of Dinosaurs, which features a 100-foot long mural known as ‘The Age of Reptiles’ and a mounted juvenile Brontosaurus dinosaur. Collections at the Peabody include world-class vertebrate paleontology collections, including the most historically significant fossil groups in the United States, a collection of Incan artifacts from Machu Picchu, marine invertebrates, and one of the largest and most taxonomically comprehensive ornithology collections in the world.
Visitors can enjoy a hands-on, interactive experience in the Discovery Room, where they can see and touch real natural history artifacts, and Scicorps – a science career orientation and readiness program for students is offered every weekend.
The museum features a three-meter high, full-scale reproduction of a Torosaurus next to the entrance on Whitney Avenue, which is made from clay. Inside the Museum, permanent exhibits include the Great Hall of Dinosaurs, which features a full-scale skeleton of a Brontosaurus, an 110-foot long mural depicting dinosaurs in their natural habitats known as ‘The Age of Reptiles,’ and 11 dioramas on the plant and vertebrate ecology of Connecticut.
The Museum’s permanent collection includes exhibits on anthropology, invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology, invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, botany, mineralogy and meteoritics, paleobotany, entomology, and historical, scientific instruments.
Other displays include ‘The Riddle of Human Origins,’ a new exhibit showcasing human evolution with a variety of fossil fragments, ‘The Birds of Connecticut Hall,’ home to more than 700 specimens, representing more than 300 from the state of Connecticut alone, and ‘The Hall of Mammalian Evolution,’ which displays the ‘The Age of Mammals’ mural.
The museum also features an extensive collection of minerals, primarily from Connecticut, an array of Native American artifacts from the Connecticut region, and a huge hall dedicated to the world of Ancient Egypt.
The Discovery Room features an array of touchable specimens, live animals from around the world, including leaf-cutter ants from Trinidad and Tobago, giant hissing cockroaches from Madagascar, endangered dart frogs from South America, and a bearded dragon from Australia, and a range of hands-on activities for visitors to explore and enjoy. The Discovery Room reflects the Museum's collection of 12 million specimens and artifacts and offers a place for visitors to discover natural history through hands-on activities, interactive games, and touch-and-feel challenges. Exhilarating activities, challenges, and games include touching a 100-million-year-old fossil, finding all 16 of the Museum’s colorful live poison dart frogs hiding away in their rainforest habitat, learning to identify tree bark by touch, and collecting the bones of a rabbit. Visitors can also walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and see live giant silk moths munching away.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is located at 170 Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History offers a range of educational programs, classes, camps and lectures for both students and adults. Adult programs include talks and public presentations, natural science illustration programs, botanical programs and the O.C Marsh Fellows Program. Other educational programs and workshops include after-school programs, summer camps, school and group visits, community outreach programs and special celebrations.
170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut, Phone: 203-432-5050
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More Ideas: Hill-Stead Museum
With beautiful gardens, a significant art collection, and a century of history, the Hill-Stead Museum in Connecticut is sure to delight and inspire visitors of all ages. The institution now known as the Hill-Stead Museum was once the home of the Pope-Riddle family. Alfred and Ada Pope first moved to the estate in 1901 after their only daughter, Theodate, urged them to pursue a life of purpose in the countryside.
Alfred Pope had made his fortune in the iron industry and was also an avid art enthusiast. A turning point for the family occurred when Alfred arranged for his wife and daughter to accompany him on a tour of Europe. Once there, the family saw the burgeoning turn of the century artistic landscape of Paris and fell in love with impressionism. Alfred began to collect art by well-known artists such as Manet and Monet, displaying the pieces at Hill-Stead. Her father’s passion for the arts inspired Theodate to pursue a career as an architect, which was an uncommon career for woman of her time. She also operated a successful farming enterprise and was highly involved with social causes, which culminated in her fostering several orphaned children.
In her later years, Theodate married John Wallace Riddle, who was a diplomat and scholar in his own right. The pair travelled the world together as John was constantly called to new and exotic locales such as Turkey, Egypt, and Russia. Theodate passed away in 1946, mandating that Hill-Stead be turned into a museum and stipulating that none of the existing items in the home be moved or altered in any way.
Alfred Pope’s collection of French impressionist art was acquired between the years of 1888 and 1907. Ahead of his time, Pope was one of the first Americans to collect impressionist art. His rigorous standards and finely honed personal aesthetic was quite a departure from the prevailing opinions of his time. At the turn of the century, many of his contemporaries and much of the academic world still considered impressionists to be radical and even iconoclastic. Today visitors can reap the benefits of Pope’s discerning eye by viewing pieces by masters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Mary Cassatt, and many others.
While Alfred Pope was no doubt taken by the works of European impressionists, he also appreciated many of their American counterparts. In particular, works by American artist James McNeil Whistler feature prominently in Pope’s collection. The use of light, suggestive brushstrokes, and an innovative pallet showcase the artist’s gradual departure from realism. In contrast to this, visitors can see portraits of both Ada and Alfred by American artists, who utilized a more photo realistic approach in their depictions.
English and European Artists
Impressionism was by no means the only style of art that was of interest to Alfred Pope. His collections of symbolist artists, such as Eugene Carriere, demonstrate his interest in different visual languages. These paintings are often recognized for their soft atmospheric approach, which was meant to capture the “soul” of their subjects. The paintings on display allow visitors to compare and contrast these different styles and discuss the commonalities within them.
While many elite Victorians had a fascination with sculpture as ornamentation in their homes, Alfred Pope’s approach to collecting 3D pieces speak to his singular tastes and interests. His European travels gave him an appreciation of ancient Roman busts. Visitors can see one such sculpture of Marcus Aurelius, which was originally created in 180 AD. In addition, Pope’s fascination with animal forms can be seen in his eight bronze sculptures by Antoine-Louis Barye. With a background as a goldsmith, Barye was considered as one of the leading sculptors of animal forms of his time.
The purple, pink, and silver hues of the sunken garden complement the art work with the museum by echoing the impressionist color pallet. Spread across an acre of land, the sunken garden offers scenic walks and a picturesque backdrop for photographs. Visitors can see a summer house, a stone sundial, brick walkways, and over 90 varieties of perennials spread across more than 36 beds. The garden is also home to many species of butterflies and birds, which add to its romantic appeal. Those planning to tour the museum in the summer may wish to arrive in time for the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, where they can take in live music and poetry recitations in the garden’s tranquil center.
35 Mountain Road, Farmington, CT 06032, Phone: 860-677-4787
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